UT upsets Ohio U. in dramatic finish

University of Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk improved to 3-7 in the MAC, after the Rockets beat Ohio U. 77-73 on Wednesday night.

The University of Toledo Rockets found themselves down 15-0 just over three minutes into their game against Ohio University Wednesday night but would rally to win, 77-73.

"Coach brought us together and me and Rian (Pearson) just told them, we got to chip away, get stops and we'll be fine," said sophomore forward Matt Smith.

Smith and company were right.

UT eventually turned a steep deficit into a four point halftime lead.

"I got my guys together," said Pearson. "And told them let's clos this game out and get the win."

The Rockets turned that four point edge into a 13 point lead midway through the second half but Ohio wasn't finished.

The Bobcats would rally behind D.J. Cooper, who scored 8 points in 1:22 to give Ohio a one point lead with 1:35 to play.

However on UT"s ensuing posession, junior guard Curtis Dennis drove the lane for two and was fouled.

Dennis made both free throws to put UT up two.

Cooper attempted a three with five seconds remainnig, missed the shot, UT's Pearson rebounded and passed to teammate Reese Holliday.

Holliday thought time expired, tucked the ball and walked with it in what he thought was victory.

The problem was there were still 2.2 seconds left on the clock.

Cooper then inbounded the ball but his pass sailed into the stands, giving Toledo posession.

Smith was fouled, made two free throws and the Rockets finally closed out an opponent.

"When you lose six games at the buzzer that wears on your confidence," said coach Tod Kowalczyk. "Guys start to question themselves. They start to question each other. They start to question the coaches. This shows you how good of character guys we have. They stayed together."

Pearson finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Smith added 18 points and 6 rebounds for UT.

Cooper led Ohio with 18 points.